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BBC World News America

News/Business. U.S.-targeted nightly newscast. New.

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PBS

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00:30:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 93 (639 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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704

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 9, Gaddafi 7, George 6, Washington 5, Misrata 5, Pbs 4, Kim Jong Un 3, North Korea 3, Piers Morgan 3, China 2, Libya 2, Korea 2, Rupert Murdoch 2, Paul Mccartney 1, Luis Suarez 1, Robert Reich 1, Kim Jong 1, Kim Jong-il 1, Nasa 1, The American Economy 1,
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  PBS    BBC World News America    News/Business.  
   U.S.-targeted nightly newscast. New.  

    December 20, 2011
    4:00 - 4:30pm PST  

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>> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. as former north korean leader kim jong il lies in state, the stability of the region is called into question. he is a man who normally asks the questions but now piers morgan has been forced to answer them. facing a long cold winter in america, we travel to denver where a growing number of families are finding themselves homeless this holiday season. >> i don't think that we deserve this but at the same time, it's like, that is life. you know? >> welcome to our viewers on
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pbs in america and around the globe. it seems that even in death, the north korean regime lacks no sense of the dramatic. the body of the leader kim jong il went on display in p'yongyang. he is in a glass case surrounded by flowers that have been renamed in his honor. kim jong un, his son, was among those paying tribute. concern about the stability of the regime has their neighbors on edge. >> kim jong-il, a face so familiar to the outside world, revered, reviled, and even caricatured. this is the new garden of the north korean nuclear weapons, his son, kim jong un. not quite 30 years old and every
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bit as enigmatic as his father. he is the man china and america will be negotiating with. these are the people he will be rolling. many are more pour and hungry than when his father took power, more self-reliant, and according to some, more critical of those who lead them. those who were there the last time north korea mourned their leader said to not believe everything you see. >> you could not not cry in public so people used to pinch themselves and make themselves try. others were just laughing. when i look at what is happening now, i think it is even more fake. >> the great fear in many capitals around the world is not insincerity on the streets of p'yongyang but insecurity. >> how well this is managed will
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be dependent upon kim jong un's ability to manage the country. >> governments are straining to see how this transition is unfolding and the tensions it might produce. north korean leaders have never been toppled by hardship, political oppression, or famine. the slow creep of capitalism into their country might be a bigger threat. this communist state has already had to loosen its strict control over the economy. will its new leader choose more reform or more repression to hold it together? >> for more on what the future may hold for north korea, i spoke earlier to the former director of asian affairs at the white house and is now at the international center for strategic studies. you have written that north korea as we know it is over.
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that is a pretty bold statement. >> well, i think that essentially the regime is on his last legs after the death of kim jong il, the north korean leader. they're not ready for the power transition. they don't have an ideology for the new leadership. there are economy is broken. the country is starting. the ascension process is supposed to take 10 years and it has only been about 24 months to put this young fellow in the position. >> you think that the fault lines center on the youth of the successor and the army, the establishment? >> yes. for the new leadership he has to try to call what those groups with very little leverage. the only thing he has going for him is the blood as a member of the kim family. the only difference with him and
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kim jong il was that kim jong il was training and was in the job for 15 years before his father passed away. these are about the most difficult conditions under which they are trying to affect a third dynastic succession. >> the west can do very little then hope and watch. let's talk about china. what do they get about having two koreas? >> the main benefit is that they would not like a unified korean peninsula that is democratic and an ally of the united states. correctly or incorrectly, the core strategic calculation has been that that is not inclined the chinese direction. for that reason, they have supported north korea. in particular, they have been bullish trend over the past few years.
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-- they have been belligerent over the past few years. >> how do you interpret the little we have heard from beijing on the death of kim jong il? they have said we believe that the korean people will unite as one. >> this is wishful thinking on their part. they want to show allegiance with the north koreans. they will do the best to underwrite this policy. for the chinese leadership, which will change next year, this will be the most important decision they will make. right now, they will not shed north korea as a strategic liability. they will adhere to it and try to maintain it through this transition. >> thank you very much. >> thank-you. >> he is more used to reporting the news than making it but the former editor turned television
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presenter piers morgan was called into an inquiry over phone hacking. he said he did not believe that he had never listened to voice messages and no phone hacking had ever taken place at the "daily mirror." >> piers morgan moved to television first as a talent show judge and then to a high- profile post on an american chat show. he relishes his status as an interrogator of the celebrities. he started jauntily but when it came to phone hacking, his answers became noticeably more terse. >> your newspaper was near the top of the list. >> top of the list of what? >> of the perpetrators carried
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out this sort of practice. you know that. >> you well know that not a single person has made any formal or legal complaints against the "daily mirror." courts he was asked how he heard a private phone message left by paul mccartney to his then girlfriend. >> i listened to a tape of a message. >> it was a voicemail message, wasn't it? >> i believe it was, yes. >> he said he had to protect his sources said he could not say more. >> i am perfectly happy to call lee the la carte me to give evidence as to whether she authorized you to listen to her voice mail. -- i am perfectly happy to call mac --ot >> i have no reason or knowledge
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to believe that was going on. >> what did you yourself know of the perception of what was going on? did you see this sort of thing going on? >> no. >> are you sure about that? >> 100%. >> at one tantalizing moment, he was talking about rupert murdoch's dismisses arguments about the commission. >> it might not be his recollection. i can ask him for his recollection when we get there. >> that would mean that rupert murdoch himself will be called to give evidence. piers morgan signed off from the inquiry with a complaint. he said he felt like a badly treated rock star. his low points were constantly
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replayed but his successes were ignored. >> and other news, iraq's vice president has denied any wrongdoing after a warrant was issued for his arrest on terrorism-related charges. he described as fabricated the acquisition that he was linked to attacks on government officials. he accused prime minister maliki of being the plot to embarrass him. invalid's football association has banned -- england's football association has banned luis suarez for 8 games during an incident. pity the american dream. this caused many people from around the world to these shores but it has taken something of a
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beating. the latest census figures show how damaging the crisis has been. only one in -- one in two have fallen into poverty. i traveled to see the tough choices which are facing families. winter in america and the chill from an economic crisis that began three years ago has set in. denver, colorado is a brash place that grew rich on energy and mining. when night falls, the other america and emerges from the shadows. streets where drug dealers and prostitutes search for business around strip joints and seedy motels. this is also where you will find america's new homeless, entire families who lost everything, searching for a
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roof over their head for the night. this family is checking into a hotel run by a charity. this is a single father with three children. he has lost his job and earlier today they were kicked out of their house. with nowhere else to go, this is their new home. >> it is unforgiving. no one will help you except yourself. that is what i believe. >> the really shocking thing about this story is how common it is. accurate figures are difficult to come by but it is thought that three and a half million americans need shelter like this at some point in the year an increase in the it is families that are left homeless. it does not get much harder than this. robert and victoria and their six children have been living in a motel for weeks.
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from dawn to dusk, it is a scene of well oiled chaos. robert lost his job and like many others, the couple does not have the cash to pay the rent let alone the mortgage. >> we had a home, we had a yard for our kids to play in. we had two dogs, two wonderful dogs that we don't have any more. i am not able to cook now. i used to make dinner every night. now i cannot even cook for my family. that is hard. >> i miss her life. that we deserve this, you know, but at the same time, that's life. >> what marks these families out is that they have never been homeless before. they struggle to keep a roof over their head and failed. there might be signs that the
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economy is improving but the story on the ground is very different. >> we will not have much of a christmas this year. they are ok with that, as long as we have each other. actually, this one told me, even if we get presents, can we just wrap them and give them to the other kids that need them. >> victims of a slowdown no one seems able to control. for growing numbers of people, this is where their american dream and -- dream ends. i spoke a little bit earlier to former u.s. labor secretary robert reich.a -- we are in the richest country in
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the world and yet we are talking to families that have been made homeless. we have seen poverty that one associates with the developing world. why is that? >> this is the paradox but it is a paradox that is the heart of the american economy. the american economy is one in which we don't have the kind of social services, medical services, the safety nets that european economies have. in america, the assumption has been that if you work hard, you can do better and better. that is what we have seen. in this recession we are seeing for the first time since the great depression -- not as bad as the great depression but almost as bad. that is, downward mobility. very sudden downward mobility. many in the middle class have lost their homes or their insurance. whatever reason is the cause, they find themselves very suddenly unable to pay their
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mortgages and often they are homeless. >> can i ask where the politicians in washington are in all of this? >> they are on another planet, it seems. the politicians in washington are very responsive to people who provide campaign donations. that means large corporations, wall street, wealthy individuals. they should be more responsive and one would hope that they would be more responses -- be more responsive to the stresses and difficulties faced by average working americans and the poor. as money invokes washington in terms of lobbyists, political donations, and also a revolving door connecting the four legislators and former government officials with big corporations and lobbying agencies themselves, there appears to be less and less responsibility.
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that is one of the big paradox is with regard to the recession, why isn't washington doing more? >> those this really matter electorally for any of these politicians? >> yes, it does. if the economy does not improve, if unemployment is not go down, the incumbent -- whether we're talking about barack obama or members of congress -- will have much greater difficulty getting elected. if it shows, the absolute level of economic to beef and unemployment is high, if the trend is favorable between now and the next election day, the trend in the right direction. barack obama and other incumbents might have an easier time. again, the paradox is that so many in america are struggling, so little is being done. i don't want to be partisan about it but the republican party especially seems to be dragging their heels. >> thank you for being with us.
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you are watching "bbc world news america" still to come -- scientists discovered new planets outside of our solar system, but one of them might have supported life. the president of the philippines has declared a national calamity in the south of the country following this weekend's devastating storms which killed nearly a thousand people. some local authorities have begun to bury bodies in mass graves as facilities have become overwhelmed and are running out of supplies. >> the dead keep coming. this funeral parlor is one of many which is completely full of bodies, victims of the week and floods. it is getting so bad that the authorities have come up with a drastic alternatives.
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>> we have a problem because the funeral parlors are refusing to admit the bodies. we have to dump them in a landfill before we can come up with a mass grave. >> there is yet another indignity. >> when i saw the bodies piled together in the landfill, i was horrified. they left them like animals and less than in the sun without covering. >> it is not surprising that so many people died. the storm and surge swept torrents of water across wide areas of the coast line. the people in the southern philippines faced a massive clean-up operation. about 300,000 people were affected by the storm across 13 different provinces. many homes, like this one, are completely destroyed. people that survived are now
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living in evacuation centers where at least they can get fresh food and water. most of these are actually schools or baseball courts, but right now they are the only homes they have. >> during libya's seven months civil war, there were two neighboring cities that bore the brunt of the conflict. in misrata, rebel forces faced months of attack by gaddafi forces. later, they did the same in gaddafi's hometown of sirte before declaring victory. >> these are the losers in libya's war. the price paid for living in muammar gaddafi's home town. sirte, pummeled by rebel forces
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as the rubble made his last stand. -- as the colonel made his last stand. few are making a celebration here. after fleeing the fighting, this man returned home to this. he said the new government is doing nothing to help. like many, he says he had no time for gaddafi. amid the devastation, it was easy to find a few die-hard supporters. this man tells me that gaddafi protect the civilians here. he claims the rebels, many of them from misrata, killed thousands in sirte. this is only a tiny demonstration. they have blocked one of the main roads in sirte. people here feel that the new government is ignoring them and they are being punished because
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of sirte's connection with gaddafi. some of them have told me that they feel like they are living under an occupation that is led by their neighbors a few kilometers down the road in misrata. in misrata, you see the impact of war. the city was laid siege to by gaddafi's forces and terrorized for three months. at least here, people know they came out on the winning side. a museum has been set up to remember the dead. the people here believe that their young men did not die in vain. the weapons that did the damage are now the spoils of victory. winning has made it easier for the rebels to play down any tensions with sirte. >> back in sirte, a town
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synonymous with gaddafi, the graffiti tells a different story. "misrata, brothers, never." in the new libya, will the losers have a say? >> now to a discovery that is out of this world. astronomers who have been studying a different start say that what they have found are two or sized planets orbiting. -- is studying a different star that they say has two earth- sized planets orbiting. >> planets orbit many of the
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stars that we see in the night sky. the big question is could one of them support life? scientists believe that they found one that once was. this is the first planet that scientists have discovered that is almost exactly the same size as our earth. it is too close to the sun and too hot to support life now but in the distant past, conditions were very different. in the past, conditions were very different. it was farther from the sun, it might have been cooler, perhaps oceans of water, possibly suitable for life. we really don't know but perhaps over the next years we will find out more about plan is like this. scientists have studied the second planet. this is that the closer to the sun and again too hot to support life. the discoveries were made with a
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nasa satellite. they believe that planets similar in size to hours are likely to support life. >> i think that we will find many more plants that are earth- like plan is. i think that we will find life out there. maybe not intelligent life, maybe green slime, but i think it will be there. >> the telescopes are looking at 150,000 stars, it is likely that one of them will be like our own and able to support life. >> the tantalizing thought of life in the stars. that brings the show to a close. for all of us here, thank you for watching and we will see you back here tomorrow.
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>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank offers unique insight and expertise on a wide
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range of industries. what can we do for you? what can we do for you? >>
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(george chattering excitedly) this program was made possible by: >> ♪ i'm a whirlibird... >> chuck e. cheese's, proud supporter of pbs kids, solutes all the parents who know staying active with their kids is fun and healthy for them. >> ♪ i'm a whirlibird. >> pbs kids, where a kid can be a kid. for over 90 years, stride rite's been there, from the first wobbly walk to the first day of school, helping you choose the right shoes. stride rite is a proud sponsor of curious george. rainforest cafe, proud sponsor of curious george, reminding you that anyone can make the world a brighter place by conserving our natural resources. when you're saving one can... both: you're saving toucans! (toucan squawks) funding for curious george is provided by contributions to your pbs station... ooh.
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...and from: ♪ you never do know what's around the bend ♪ ♪ big adventure or a brand-new friend ♪ ♪ when you're curious like curious george ♪ ♪ swing! ♪ ♪ well, every day ♪ every day ♪ ♪ is so glorious ♪ glorious ♪ george! ♪ and everything ♪ everything ♪ ♪ is so wondrous ♪ wondrous ♪ ♪ there's more to explore when you open the door ♪ ♪ and meet friends like this, you just can't miss ♪ ♪ i know you're curious ♪ curious ♪ ♪ and that's marvelous ♪ marvelous ♪ ♪ and that's your reward ♪ you'll never be bored ♪ if you ask yourself, "what is this?" ♪ ♪ like curious... ♪ like curious... curious george. ♪ oh... captioning sponsored by nbc/universal